Robert Matheson, a PE teacher at Kemptville Public School, leads students in an online workout. He is logging his students' minutes for the Community Better Challenge

Submitted by the North Grenville Health, Wellness and Fitness Advisory Committee

Although schools will remain closed, local students are still contributing to North Grenville’s quest to be named Canada’s most active community.

Several teachers at schools in the municipality registered to take part in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge this month. They saw it as a way to motivate their students and to get them involved in helping the community.

“It is coming at a great time for us, as we are just completing our Kids Run Ottawa Challenge, and we want to keep our students moving!” says Laura Oliver, the principal at Oxford-on-Rideau Elementary School. The school kicked off its effort by having a whole-school, online workout on June 1.

Students at Kemptville Public School are also participating in online workouts led by enthusiastic teachers. Robert Matheson, one of the school’s physical education teachers, runs online workouts for three or four classes a day.”It is awesome to see them working out with me,” Matheson says. “Some of them are having their siblings, parents or grandparents join in our workouts. That’s a great thing to see.”

Michael Lalonde, a physical education teacher at Académie Catholique Notre-Dame, is asking his students to set a weekly goal and try to reach it. He will then log their minutes for them.

Selina Parnell, a physical education teacher at Holy Cross Catholic School, is also using participating in the challenge as a way to motivate her students. The 185 students at École publique Rivière-Rideau are also having their active school-time minutes logged for them.

Participating in the challenge will look a little different at Madison Montessori. At least there, some of the school’s students can get involved in person. School-aged children are not allowed in the building under the province’s COVID restrictions, but 162 pre-school aged students (aged 1-6) are allowed to attend. A normal day at Madison Montessori involves a lot of physical activity. KPS teacher Robert Matheson, who is a member of North Grenville’s Health, Wellness, and Fitness Advisory Committee, has been helping support the other schools’ involvement in the challenge. He has shared ways for them to log minutes and how to host online events.

“I think getting the schools on board with this challenge gives us (North Grenville) a chance to finish at or near the top of the leaderboard,” Matheson says.


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